Wine Picks LCBO Vintages Release Oct 27, 2018

Oct 27, 2018 LCBO Vintages Release

The Oct 27, 2018 LCBO Vintages Release features Italian wines – and premium ones at that.  From now until the new year expect to see more and more premium wines on offer (which translates to higher and higher prices).  There are however many smart buys in this release with a few interesting Italian wines in the under $35 category and 2  chardonnays, scoring mid 90s for under $20.

Continue reading “Wine Picks LCBO Vintages Release Oct 27, 2018”

Wine Picks LCBO Vintages Release May 12, 2018

Wine Recommendations May 12, 2018 LCBO Vintages Release

The May 12, 2018 LCBO Vintages Release features Bordeaux wines and Rosés.  Lucky for us on both counts.

The Liqueur and  Fortified Sections also hold some interesting offerings – a Raspberry Liqueur, high scoring Vermouth and Sherry and another high scoring Late Bottle Vintage Port. All very reasonably prices so a good chance to add to your cellar or round out your bar! Continue reading “Wine Picks LCBO Vintages Release May 12, 2018”

Wine Picks LCBO Vintage Release March 17, 2018

Four bottles of wine from LCBO Vintages Release March 17, 2018

Break away from the green beer long enough to explore the good value in the LCBO Vintages Release for March 17, 2018! Some interesting grapes and blends from other-than-traditional-regions.

This release is a perfect opportunity to explore and compare  the versatile Merlot varietal from various countries. Check here for  Merlot Wine Tasting recommendations from this release. Continue reading “Wine Picks LCBO Vintage Release March 17, 2018”

Wine Picks LCBO Release Sept 2, 2017


This release has a lot of special value selections scoring 90 points + , many for under $20.  It also features some ‘benchmark’ new world wines. That means the wines are a true representation of a region’s style and terroir for that grape.

What that also means is there is an excellent opportunity for a Syrah tasting to compare the various Syrah styles of France, USA, Canada, Chile.  See full Syrah notes and recommendations here.

White Wines

2027 Wismer Vineyard Fox Croft Block Chardonnay 2014

421362   Score 91    $22.95

This wine has been highlighted as a ‘benchmark’ wine for Ontario Chardonnay. John Szabo of talks about the ‘restraint and elegance of this wine…gentle touch of old wood spice but mostly appealingly, steely-stony character, citrus and green apple/pear, sharp acids and great length. ‘ In his opinion you would be ‘hard pressed to find similar poise in most other places on planet earth.’    How is that for a compliment????

I had the chance to taste and review this wine in March 2017  ‘The slightly woody, toasty nose on this literally made me sigh! This is a beautifully balanced wine. Light oak, light spice. Clean on the palate. No overpowering elements detract from the overall experience. Beautiful nose, beautiful palate. Worth every penny!’

Anne de Laweiss Collection Gewurztraminer 2015

141226   $19.95

Gewurtztraminer is a very specific taste.  It is typically off-dry and goes well with Asian food.  Typical notes of tropical fruits, apricot with some spicy peppery notes.  Vintage panels calls this one off-dry with aromas or rosewater, lychee and candied grapefruit.  Notes of candied ginger and spice on the palate as well.

Red Wines

See the Syrah recommendations here.

Special Value Wines

These wines have received reviews suggesting they are excellent value for the money. Most if rated are in the 88-90 point range…not bad when you see the prices!

Cascina Castlet Litina Barbaera D’Asti Superiore 2012

497917  Score 95  $21.95

Decanter World Wine Awards notes call this “Enticing and inviting, with luscious dark cherry, elegant violet, lifted liquorice and spicy, smoky oak notes. The palate is seductive and attractive, with layers of supple, rich, dark cherry fruit, fine, fresh acidity and lush, beautifully textured tannins.  Complex yet elegant.’

Lealtanza Reserva 20122 (Rioja, Spain)

208223  Score 92    $19.95

James Suckling of describes ‘A deep beautiful nose of ripe strawberries and hints of dried flowers and soft spices. Medium-bodied with medium, juicy and soft tannins and a long, fresh and fruity finish’.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Syrah 2013 (Washington, USA)

949651   Score 90   $19.95

Sean P. Sullivan of Wine Enthusiast describe ‘herbal and spicy notes, a lot of aromatic complexity; plush fruit and savory flavors and full in feel with a lingering finish. ..a lot of wine for the price.’

Marco Zunino Expresion Reserva Malbec 2014 (Argentina)

494575  Score 92   $27.95

James Suckling of says ‘Aromas of ginseng and dried fruits. Medium body, fine tannins and a tangy finish of citrus peel. Beautiful.’

M. Chapoutier Rasteau 2014 (Rhone, France)

517201  Score 91   $19.95

Jeb Dunnuck or describes ‘big, rich, black cherry, crushed rock and dried herb-driven cuvee…surprising levels of sweet fruits, full -bodied richness and a balanced, clean finish.’

Ranzo Masi  Riserva Chianti 2013

969469  Score 92   $16.95

James Suckling of call this ” A simple Chianti that shows lots of richness and intensity with ripe fruit, light raisin and walnut shell character. Full body round and velvety tannins and a flavorful finish.’

Tommasi Graticcio Appassionato 2014 (Veneto, Italy)

338939  Score 90   $15.95

Natalie MacLean of says this is ‘Great for the price!’  She describes fleshy ripe sweet black cherries on the nose and  palate of this full-bodied, smooth Italian red wine.’

Borsao Berola 2013 (Spain)

371518  Score 90   $18.95

Robert Parker of calls this winery his ‘favorite value winery not only in Spain but in the world’.  This wine is ‘pure, rich and impressive….blackcurrant fruit, a toucj of graphite and camphor, a luscious, nicely textrured mid-palate finish.’


Reserve des Armoiries Cotes du Rhone 2013

194886   $15.95

Guide Hachette says ‘Intense vanilla notes jump from the glass and coat a vroad, round and persistent palate. A delight for oaky wine lovers.’

Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas Vieilles Vines Grenache Noir 2015 (Roussillon, France)

354191  Score 92   $17.00

Jeb Dunnuck of calls this a ‘sensational value’. ‘Offering tons of ripe lack cherries, blueberries, spice and flowers, it has loads of pure fruit, a sexy, voluptuous style and a beautiful length on the finish.’

Cellar Suggestions

Fabre Montmayou Gran Reserva Malbec 2013 (Argentina)

279802  Score 94   $25.95

Tim Atkins of calls this ‘Dense and complex, with plenty of tannic backbone and oak balanced by fresh acidity and layer of dark berry fruit, licorice and Asian spices.’  Drink 2017-2025

Chateau de la Roulerie Blanc 2015 (Loire, France)

513408  Score 93  $26.95

James Molesworth of describes ‘Ripe and layered, with a mix of fig, pear, red apple and peach flavors giving this ample range. A lively ginger thread helps extend everything through the finish.  Best from 2020 to 2030.”